The Importance Of Education In The Handmaid's Tale

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Education is the cornerstone of advancement and success. In The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, the women of Gilead are not allowed to receive an education. The regime does not allow the women to read and write because it makes them more dangerous and more likely to rebel. The lack of education gives men extra power over the women as they can feed the women information without the women having the opportunity to verify it for themselves. This practice is much like the works of the Catholic church leading up to the Protestant Reformation; as the Bible was only printed in latin, a language that the common people could neither read or understand. An uneducated population, as Atwood portrays with a rebellious tone, is a population that can …show more content…
At this point the women are simply uninformed, instead of being uneducated. A lack of information is just as effective as a lack of education, but enforcing a lack of information is a much more difficult task. In Gilead, the leaders of the regime have cut off all sources of information from the women by making them illegal. The ultimate goal of the regime is to create an absolute lack of knowledge about the past in the next generation of women that have not been formally educated. If this generation of women knows only about Gilead, they will not know that their current situation is bad compared to that of the past. The leaders of Gilead want to erase all evidence of a society before Gilead, of a society of free …show more content…
The regime is built around the oppression of women and reducing their purpose to nothing but reproduction. The men of Gilead are supposed to be impartial toward the women, especially the handmaids. The sole purpose of the handmaids is to reproduce in order to stabilize the population growth rate of Gilead. However, the Commander breaks a multitude of rules in order to try and improve the life of Offred. He does everything from meeting her secretly to allowing her to read to telling her about certain current events. These crimes are very serious in Gilead and could lead to the death of both the Commander and Offred. This portrayal of such human nature by Atwood, shows that an oppressive government such as the one in Gilead can never survive forever. The conscience of the human race is far to prevalent to allow such terrible and absolute control of a group of people without many dissenters. Atwood’s depiction of such sympathy and pity in the Commander seems to hint at the downfall of Gilead and the downfall of all totalitarian

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